I know what you’re thinking: “Not another meaningless publishing conference that employs nerve-working jargon!”
Not this one, not by the looks of it anyways, when you consider it’s backed by the Frankfurt Book Fair and will be overseen in part by Supreme Publishing Environmentalist Kat Meyer, a longtime supporter of libraries.
My favorite part:
"Our goal is to accelerate innovation in storytelling and set the stage for a more profitable future for publishers and all creative media industries."
Viva Co. Lab is launching in Las Vegas later this month, and wouldn’t it be cool if Las Vegas libraries partook.
Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I’ve been giving big love to Cloud publishing partner Europa Editions these last eight months after I discovered its excellent World Noir series via Zane Lovitt’s The Midnight Promise.
Congratulations to Europa’s Paolo Sorrentino, who wrote the screenplay for the Best Foreign Film winner, The Great Beauty. Let’s hope Oscar means a monster sales bump for Everybody’s Right, which is in Cloud.
On Monday, I had the distinct pleasure of chatting on Twitter with YA librarian Kelly Jensen (aka @catagator) about what I loosely dubbed “empowering” YA fiction for girls and young women, that is, not about boy chasing, boy coveting, or being validated by romantic love.
Kelly kindly pointed me to this list she wrote for Book Riot and brought up the back with an even more provocative set of YA novels featuring unlikable female protagonists: http://t.co/x6tjZ4neUF
Both roundups inspired a YA shelf with high adult crossover appeal in CAT for Women’s History Month. Now if only I could make the book group of my dreams happen (mixed sexual orientations debating femininity). It probably happens in the East Village every night, eh?
More book review coverage is always music to my ears, and that it’s for genre fiction (still terribly underserved when you consider its titanic popularity) is even better. Consider these columns new collection development tools; I know I am.
Good on Ron Charles for expanding an area that will make readers happy and potentially increase his newspaper’s traffic. Journalism lives!
It’s a long story. OK, not really, but I can’t say why I’m heading to 3M headquarters for a two-day powwow that includes ice fishing, Minnesota-style. What I can say is that we’ll be making an exciting announcement at the Public Library Association in Indianapolis next month and that it will make many of you perversely happy.
Boarding in 15. Stay tuned tomorrow for shots from the hut.
Count this as a catching-up post. Last week as I was literally taking off for Portland from JFK, the biggest news story of the week broke, one that is still generating responses all over the publishing-verse. Drawing on data culled by an unnamed coder, author Hugh Howey (see his best-selling sci-fi Wool trilogy in the Cloud) wrote about the goodly sums of money self-published authors stand to make from selling their genre fiction on Amazon, as opposed to going the quote-unquote legacy route.
My overall read: Howey’s post reflects an unfortunate widespread belief that you can only become successful one way if you want to write books. You go the old route, or you go the new, which isn’t really new (countless books, pre-Amazon, were self-published).
I’m summarizing this brouhaha for Cloud librarians because they should know that A) there are worthy books to be discovered in self-publishing. Hugh Howey is the best example right now, but there are others (Courtney Milan, another NLA Digital client, plus Barbara Taylor Bradford from RosettaBooks). B) Publishing has changing and is still changing, and so are peoples’ attitudes, if slowly, and this will affect your access to content.
This month’s Writers Digest is particularly useful, I think. An outstanding piece by Chuck Wendig on the long game of indie publishing. A really useful primer on the ebook market from Jeremy Greenfield. And a fun Top 10 list of publishing people-resources. The last feature, compiled by …
Here’s a potentially invaluable resource for Cloud librarians looking to educate themselves on the publishing industry. Pair it with my weekly collection development newsletters, Early Word, the book review trades, blogs, etc., and you’re on your way.
Don’t call it comeback. Or, do. Penguin’s Pelican Books imprint, by the way, was retired in 1984. As in the pre-Internet olden days, you can look to it for heady nonfiction on the philosophical tip. Yay!
I have written about Wattpad on Cloud Unbound to a perverse degree. Why? Because of its rich potential as an incubator for relatively new writers like romance novelist Ruthie Knox and burnished lit-fic brands like Margaret Attwood.
[Y]ou can post your own writing. No one need know how old you are, what your social background is, or where you live. Your readers can be anywhere. And if you’re worried about adverse reactions from your teachers, your grandmother, or others who might not like you writing about slavering zombies or your relatives, you can use a pseudonym.
Let us not forget the maker-space/writing lab angle. Wattpad bills itself as the Youtube of writing (its users don’t necessarily have the intention of being published in the traditional sense). I have wondered how many people log on to the site from libraries and draft away. When I was in Toronto for the Ontario Library Association Super-Conference two weeks ago, I asked Ashleigh Gardner, head of content at Wattpad, if she had a sense of library patron buy-in, and she said, understandably, that she didn’t know. Both of us agreed, however, that synergy could play out. (Many thanks to Ashleigh for her time and succinct schooling.)
In the meantime, consider these genres popping up on Wattpad and how they might one day trickle into your collection development:
"imagines" are second-person-narrated stories that relate aspirations and wishes, often, erm, dirty and involving One Direction.
"creepy pasta" tales are extremely brief and scary ghost stories, or modern versions of urban legends.
fan fiction needs no introduction, but did you know that users have taken to making real people (e.g., Miley Cyrus and Youtube celebrities) as the stars?
It’s a miracle! I just might have wiggle room in my schedule to attend this ALA Midwinter session. If you’re looking for a way to expand your readers’ advisory reach and connect your patrons with more midlist and genre fiction, LibraryReads is worth your attention.
eBook lending to public libraries just went international with the first country to benefit from the 3M Cloud Library System.
Hear ye, hear ye! International expansion is happening, competition is good for all, etc. And, oh yes, we’ll be working with respected Canadian indie presses like House of Anansi Press, Dundurn Press, and ECW Press, plus Canadian subsidiaries of U.S. Big Five.
Its the central challenge of anyone putting content on the web: choosing which content, how much content and how to distribute it for the least cost and the most benefit. The population that has dealt with this problem the longest and actually gives advanced degrees in figuring out just how to […]
Last fall, Forbes wrote a two-part introduction to the library ebook market, focusing on the business that invented it, OverDrive. I was quoted in that story (“What we’ve seen grow is the two-vendor system. There is room in the market for other players”) and suggested to the writer, Ava Seave, that she follow up with an explanation of collection development. After all, no one outside of librarianship or library/academic marketing knows what it is, even though how and what a library buys results in the materials the reading public can consume. In other words, it’s important.
Seave liked the idea, and over the last week graciously published another two-part series on what I refer to as an art and a science, with an emphasis on the the art. The first part is linked to above, and you can find the second part here. It’s not quite the big picture treatment with just-enough detail I was hoping for. There’s nothing about the traditional practice of writing collection development policies (as an example, see the policies of the Library of Congress) and the rather fraught history of library-vendor relations.
Instead, it’s how three companies, OverDrive, 3M Cloud Library, and BiblioBoard, carry out collection development, and I’m sure each one of us would say the true scope of our system and philosophy is not articulated. Mine in a nutshell is frontlist, backlist, frontlist, backlist. And, of course, market in terms of collections that are relevant to libraries and readers first, which aligns with the message at EBMA last week. We can’t grow patron bases on New York Times/USA Today adult fiction best sellers alone. And guess what? Demand in e for more classically print-centric subjects is happening. Poetry, anyone?
In any case, the Forbes series is a good grounding in how you came to find Title X in your local library.
It’s that time of year again! The time when lists of the best books for kids start sprouting up like the crocuses of May. With the big Newbery and Caldecott Awards looming on the horizon, now is a good time to step back and consider those books that may have fallen under the radar but are magnificen…
I believe in equal representation of human experiences in literature. Thank you, NYPL, for this roundup, which reminds me yet again of certain publishers I need to sign for the Cloud.
Library Journal reprises its handy galley guide for ALA Midwinter, and good thing, too, because Midwinter has become a bona fide book buzz show for winter and spring releases, more than just a prelude to BookExpo America. See also School Library Journal's galley guide for kid and YA lit.
Last week, amid Digital Book World and EBMA, Pew Internet released another report. Most of the headlines I read could be boiled down to, “Suck It, Ebooks! Print Still Rules,” revealing perhaps a little too much about the authors of those synopses.
I prefer Gary Ink’s headline here, because the truth per Pew’s findings is the number of people reading ebooks is growing, just not in the 30 to 50 percent jumps that the media seems to crave. Even better: 87 percent of ebook readers had also consumed print books and audiobooks in the last 12 months.
Apologies for the profusion of H-Dude heads, but I thought some of you might want to see my tweets covering the Common Core session at EBMA (for more context, see my previous post). I have to confess I understand why some publishers were annoyed. EMBA will have to define its criteria much better, or it’s not going to work.
In my unhumble opinion, consumers are shouldering the cost of digitization and the move toward fixed format epub, a high-quality, though expensive format that maintains the layout, and therefore storytelling, of the work.
I meant to say in my last post that running concurrently with EBMA is Digital Book World (#DBW14 on Twitter). Today is dedicated to children’s book publishing (good data about the consumer market thus far), and you should follow Lorraine Shanely’s Twitter stream. She is @LWShanley.
Digital Book World’s sessions strive to offer you the most practical, relevant and actionable programming on everything from eBook publishing and internet marketing to digital solutions for selling and marketing your books.
If you want to eavesdrop next week on this, the now preeminent New York City publishing conference, I believe the hash tag is #DBW14. For the third year running, there’s going to be a library-focused panel, and it stars Cloud librarian Jamie L. Watson of Baltimore County PL, not to mention a certain indie Minnesota publisher who just might be going live with us in the near future.
While I was awaiting the unveiling of the February top ten from LibraryReads, which I view as a strong tracker of midlist fiction and nonfiction, I had a few thoughts over spicy ramen. All in all, I want a better way to measure the waxing and waning of debuts, second novels, etc., on the national consumer best sellers lists.
What if we made those titles hovering at the bottom of the NYT lists the top of a midlist best sellers list? Would this kind of exposure encourage more buying and discovery?